The Mirror Universe is one of the most talked-about and exciting kinds of stories which “Star Trek” can tell. Instead of abiding by the rules and morals of the Federation, characters in The Mirror Universe are all about themselves. In a very literal sense, the Mirror Universe is the complete opposite of what Gene Roddenberry hoped our future would be.
The concept of the Mirror Universe is actually grounded and based in scientific theory, which grew out of String Theory. According to some scientists, our universe is but one of an infinite number. Instead of one Big Bang, there were millions or billions of Big Bangs at the start of creation. Each universe is self-contained in its own bubble. Thus, the Mirror Universe could be one of the millions of realities in the many multiple universes — known as the Multiverse.
“Star Trek” is not the only franchise that delves into the Multiverse. Both Marvel and DC Comics have been subjecting their characters to different scenarios. Marvel began their trip into the Multiverse in 1977, with the publication of “What If…?” That comic book will soon be a series on Disney+. DC, on the other hand, has an interactive chart of their various Earths.
Interestingly, the Kelvin Films were made with the Multiverse in mind. When George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth) rammed his ship into the Romulan mining vessel (which was not supposed to be there), it created a new timeline, different from the Prime Timeline.
Presented here are all of the Mirror Universe episodes, in the order which they aired (or streamed):
TOS: Beginning of The ‘Mirror’
Season 2’s “Mirror, Mirror” was the very first appearance of the Mirror Universe in Trek. It is often ranked as one of the best in the Mirror “series” of episodes. The idea for the episode came from a short story by writer Jerome Bixby. This story, “It’s a Good Life,” served as the launching point for “Mirror, Mirror” on Trek, as well as an episode of the original “Twilight Zone” and part of “Twilight Zone: The Movie,” which debuted in 1983.
The episode saw Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura the victims of a transporter accident. They appeared in the Mirror Universe, where an evil Empire is in charge. Spock — in both universes — can figure out what happened. This is also the episode where the evil Spock had a goatee, which fits nicely with the “Beard of Evil” cliche.
Some consider “The Tholian Web” to be part of the Mirror series. The episode created circumstances that would affect other episodes in future series. ScreenRant has a good explainer on how that all worked.
DS9: Shattered Glass Everywhere
“Deep Space Nine” featured five episodes from the Mirror Universe. It appeared that the writers of DS9 made an effort to continue the stories established in the earlier episodes. These shows — Season 2’ “Crossover,” Season 3’s “Through the Looking Glass,” Season 4’s “Shattered Mirror,” Season 6’s “Resurrection,” and Season 7’s “The Emperor’s New Cloak,” probably cannot be watched without watching the rest of DS9, but it’s pretty close.
For example, when Sisko crosses over, he encounters his dead wife, Jennifer (Felecia M. Bell). The latter was a scientist for the evil Terran Empire. He also worked with O’Brien, who went by ‘Smiley’ in his world, and Major Kira wore the same style of slinky, skin-tight catsuits in each episode.
Like TNG, there were no Mirror episodes for Captain Janeway to navigate through. But, Tuvok did appear on DS9’s “Through the Looking Glass.” In this episode, Tuvok was part of an underground, which fought against the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.
Enterprise: A Mirror Darkly
Perhaps the most ambitious telling of a Mirror tale (to that time) was the two-parter from “Star Trek: Enterprise.” These episodes, “A Mirror Darkly” Parts 1 and 2, gave fans a look at how the Terran Empire operated before Kirk and Spock’s time. Fans also learned how treacherous the Mirror Hoshi could be.
The Season 4 showrunner of “Enterprise,” Manny Coto, told the team on the “Inglorious Treksperts” that it took quite a bit of convincing to get everyone on board with the alternate intro for the show.
Discovery: Mirror to Real Life
When “Discovery” first streamed, there were several controversial things — the color and design of the ship, the questionable science, and the big reveal that Captain Lorca (Jason Issacs) was from the Mirror Universe.
That being said, because there are so many episodes in the first season of “Discovery” that involve the Mirror Universe (thanks to Lorca’s presence) and afterward (because Emperor Georgiou becomes a recurring, if not a main character on the show, fans might just consider that Season 4 will be the first non-Mirror season of “Discovery.”
But, the official DISCO Mirror episodes from Season 1 are “Into The Forest I Go,” “Despite Yourself,” “The Wolf Inside,” “Vaulting Ambition,” and “What’s Past Is Prologue.”